Housing poverty in Egypt

Tackling a severe housing crisis
  • 36,000 people served in FY18 36,000 people served in FY18
  • 495 volunteers hosted in FY18 495 volunteers hosted in FY18
  • Projects: home building & renovations, housing microfinance Projects: home building & renovations, housing microfinance

We've been fighting housing poverty in Egypt since 1989. Our team has built and renovated over 27,800 homes to date.

We partner with the homeowners themselves and with other local associations to achieve our goals, turning despair into hope for those living in 30 communities. By working with these organisations at the grassroots level, we build on their established knowledge and insight in the community. A group of local, representative volunteers serve as the housing committee which selects loan recipients from within their community.

Harsh weather and unsafe homes

In Egypt, more than 20 million people live in substandard housing conditions, with minimum means of improving their situation. Housing poverty in Egypt is particularly common in the rural areas, where many families live in old mud brick houses with dirt floors, no doors or windows and inadequate roofs made from thatch, branches or even sugar cane.

The threat of diseases

These conditions provide little protection from snakes, insects, intruders, rain, or the extreme variations in temperature. The houses are dangerously hot in summer and below freezing temperatures in winter. Access to toilets and clean piped water is limited, causing severe health problems to occur. Moreover, large families are often crowded into one or two room structures. Some even share their homes with their livestock or poultry.

Key facts & figures

  • Population: 94.67 million
  • Urbanisation: 43.1% live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 72.7 years
  • Unemployment rate: 12.8%
  • Population living below the poverty line: 25.2%

Putting our values in action

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The houses that we build are simple and affordable, yet decent and durable. They are built using appropriate, locally-available building materials. The new homes protect the families from the elements and also allow them the opportunity to build a second floor in the future.

We attempt to achieve our goals and reach this remarkable change through partnerships with local NGOs. We also take interest in the quality of houses through an engineer who supervises the construction process to ensure the homes are safe and healthy.

Housing programme

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We provide housing loans ranging from EGP 2,000 to EGP 12, 000 (equivalent to $257 to $1,542) to families in need for building, repairing and improving their homes.

We believe in the importance of the continuity of the program therefore the beneficiaries repay their loans so that the repayments of those revolving loans can be used to build other houses in the village. The loans are usually repaid in a period of three years and monthly repayments cannot exceed the value of 25% of the beneficiary´s monthly income.

"Poorest of the poor"

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Based on the belief that every Egyptian has the right to a healthy house, our local team has agreed with their local partners to contribute towards the poorest of the poor communities by allocating 7% of the annual housing to the “Poorest of the Poor” programme, targeting those who are unable to pay in the form of non-refundable grants.

This intervention succeeded in building and renovating more than 1,314 homes until June 2015. This great success encouraged some of the donors to allocate a fair part of their donations to serving the “Poorest of The Poor” programme hence our team is able to continue serving this disadvantaged group.